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Here are a couple of pics of ingot 8b as cast ( as solidified ) and after 3 heating cycles. I may do another cycle or two before forging, if I keep below 950 C during forging it should forge well. This ingot does have some nasty bottom defects and I will be happy to recover about 60% of the ingot.

Jan

 

frame9.jpg as cast

frame1.jpg 3 cementite dispersion cycles

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Michael,

 

The wrought I make from blooms is made ( the blooms are made) as shown in the Pit Charcoal thread. Right now I am using homemade cast iron and anchor chain as the wrought. I have several types of chain...one has more phosphorous than the other ( all guess work). I am now using them at 50/50 high and low phosphorous. My own wrought has almost no phosphorous..I will point it out when I make the switch.

 

Jan

Thanks for clarifying that for me. I'm following along here hoping to learn something I can reproduce at home but so far it looks like it requires a lot more patience than I have lol.

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Here are a couple of pics of ingot 8b as cast ( as solidified ) and after 3 heating cycles. I may do another cycle or two before forging, if I keep below 950 C during forging it should forge well. This ingot does have some nasty bottom defects and I will be happy to recover about 60% of the ingot.

Jan

 

attachicon.gifframe9.jpg as cast

attachicon.gifframe1.jpg 3 cementite dispersion cycles

 

Hi Jan.

 

Looks interesting.

That pic after 3 heat cycles looks somethign like grainboundary Cm.

I think whit small ingots like these pre heating cycles might work just fine, whit large I have not seen much differens...

other than really bad graphitisation issues.

Did you stayed lower temps this time whit those cycles...to prevent that corsening that you mentioned happening whit that nice pattern you had.

 

I think this ingot might be really good one

 

Nice work Jan.

 

 

 

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Niko


The coarsening took place during forging of #1 at random temps..this ( as shown above) cycling was done on the ingot . I expect large cementite to dominate here during forging as well. So we will end up with a mix of fine cementite and large in the final pattern. If the carbon is in a much lower range the big cementite may be gone.
In cycling this ingot I got to as high a temp as I could..set the furnace for 1200 C and waited until the ingot was only slightly darker than the furnace then quench in moving air.
The next 2 ingots will be identical (ingredients) but will be made in a charcoal furnace...sometimes I am very glad I used the word "attempts".
Jan
Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Hi Jan.

 

I reread this and yes...it sure was forging of #1 I mix these my self...lets

hope that it forges out ok and you get at least 60% of it.

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I have not done much on this project, but I will give a bit of an update. #8 remains unchanged after it was reduced to 3/8" thick, it is still the best looking sample. I will be setting up the diffuser to take some pics.

 

#1 looks a little boring, all parallel lines and a very fine pattern.

#2 was forged out and the cracks did not weld and allowed some bright colored interior streaks to show ( assigned to decarb for now)

 

#8a was forged and the microstructure is beautiful, indicating we may be on the correct path. Picture attached. This ingot was forged at the proper temperature at all times but 1...for which I paid dearly.

Enough material remains for a thin sample.

 

#8b will be forged very cautiously and we are hoping for another clue.

 

frame1.jpg a picture of ingot 8a, at 3/8" thickness, as forged, slowly cooled ( not concerned about cementite size right now, you are seeing mainly large cementite)

8a.jpg ingot8a

 

I am going to have a bit of a problem sticking to the method for the next two crucibles...which should be done 100% in charcoal.......but.......to keep the reliability of the crucibles high, I will have to go to charcoal when the crucibles are just about at heat..I do not have time for that learning curve right now.

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Ingot # 8b is now about 1" square, it is cracked and should hold up for a thin sample when finished forging. I did an etch and here is a pic..2 pics of the same area at different angles. One photo shows the dendrites with the carbon in (probably) a fine spheroidal state, the dark areas contain the cementite but tend to be larger than the cementite areas seen,,,,could be ferrite or a phosphorous rich area, The corrosion rate seems to be higher than the area of the dendrite stems/arms ( the cementite corrodes slowest of all). I will dig up another microscope and see if i can better describe them.

I am hoping when the final spheroidization takes place the now dark areas will be saturated with fine tightly distributed cementite spheres.

frame13.jpg same picture as below , large cementite is showing

frame14.jpg same picture as above , light areas are dendrites or dendrite arms, dark areas contain large cementite

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Two more crucibles will be set up for melting ( starting this week-end ) . The main change will be a drop in Carbon concentration down to about 1.6%C. The mix will not be 660/540 cast to WI but 50/50.

If this requires too high a temperature I will have to make some new crucibles ...more refractory crucibles tend to be more porous as well ( That means maybe going to clay/graphite).

 

The cracking of the last few ingots should go away at the lower carbon levels ..it happens as the ingot takes the shape of a rectangle about 2" by 3" and about 3/4" thick ...the edges form thick flanges kind of like railroad track.....when this is forged the strong edges move out in the 3" direction and the web fails due to lack of strength. There are many ways to deal with this, but carbon reduction is the fastest . I hope all things stay the same when doing this carbon reduction.....SCALE of the pattern and WEIGHT of the carbide areas are good right now ( lets hope they stay that way after the drop).

 

Meanwhile I will work on a written definition of what I mean by a "regular" pattern.

 

Jan

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Monday is a melting/mottling day the cracking of that last ingot is particularly annoying as during the process the opportunity to avoid that presented itself but was rejected.

 

As the days of smelting wind down to zero, I smelted a couple of runs of iron still using the little 22" tall furnace with a 10" high ring sitting inside the flare. The yields have been good, 30# cleaned blooms, consisting of cast iron and high or low carbon iron ( I seem to be able to control that ).

DSCN1094.jpg ready to roll with a patched ceramic over steel air inlet

DSCN1101.jpg bits and pieces collected during cleaning help determine to composition of the bloom when added to the furnace

DSCN1103.jpg running full blast , note the hot spot seen on the right of the furnace ( in near darkness )

DSCN1106.jpg the ring extension is removed at shutdown and gets quite hot

DSCN1120.jpg the bloom 30# cleaned, cast below and in this case low carbon above

 

I have repeated that low carbon run today and hope to find low carbon again tomorrow.

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Yesterday's bloom is also low carbon but the cast iron is only 1/3 of the total bloom weight (29# cleaned). I could not get this thing out of my furnace without really beating on it, the slag linking the top to the bottom fractured, creating a two part bloom. Ever since I decided not to hate slag, things started working.

The charcoal I have set aside for the charcoal melt of Wootz here may end up for a final high carbon run...any charcoal can be used to heat a crucible.

I will pist pics if anyone wants to see them ..pretty similar to the pic above.

Jan

 

Edit..I have changed the weight from 35 to 29 after chipping some slag where I did not expect it.

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Todays melts were a bust..ingot8c is a belt buckle type disc,,the crucible developed a big hole and most of the metal just poured out ( It was too hot..the crucibles have a temp limit).

 

I should have stopped and rebuilt the furnace ( now loaded with iron ) but continued...and found my crucible sinking way down into the furnace . I stopped and let it all cool, in an hour I had to beat the crucible out of the ceramic mass.

The ingot did form, but looks very rough and has some internal defects.

Here is a pic of the microstructure which looks surprisingly good, considering its life story. I do plan to forge it to see what that carbon level feels like.

Running low on crucibles so it will be a while before I continue here.

frame5.jpg I have definitely made the lower carbon shift

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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beautiful looking stuff, lots of work, lots of potential...keep it up!

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Thanks Dave,

 

The project is quite a challenge for me as it is exposing me to having to question my thoughts on how things work. I am shocked at how beautiful a pattern one sees at so little reduction in thickness and now after yesterdays accident I am questioning the slow cooling assumptions.

 

I have bars 8, 8a and 8b on my desk..all were forged out to their final thickness today ...bar 8a is the only bar with a pearlite matrix, yet all were processed about the same way.....why would some bars have a matrix of ferrite with spheroidized cementite ( my guess) and another be completely different. I have no idea..I am not sure not knowing why something good works is any better than knowing why something crashed.

 

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Today I hope to forge ingot 8c ( the accident) and to take one of the bars from (8,8a,8b) 8 and go all the way to blade thickness. Up until now I have not manipulated the surface of any bars..I still have enough thickness in the bars to take a small grinding wheel and try to break up any very large features detracting from the consistency of the resulting pattern. I will try to post an example.

 

Should I find the belt buckle again ( this is the lens shaped partial ingot from the broken crucible above) I will forge it as well.....sometimes one has to assume that things happen for a reason. The large lens shaped ingots have been described in writing associated with the process....so I will forge it to see what I will expect.

 

Rice husks have been charred for the next set of crucibles which will include the larger lens shape ( I hope we are not at the beginning of another crucible learning curve ). While the crucibles are in process I will see if the bottom of any larger crucibles ( graphite /clay or silicon carbide) could temporarily fill the gap.

Here is a picture of the nicer looking area of bar 8a as forged .

8a.jpg bar 8a as forged, bar is yet to be ground to blade thickness, heat treated and polished. There is a picture of 8a at 3/8" thickness above

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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This thread is one of the best I have ever followed. I appreciate the extra time you are taking to let us go along with you :)

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Thanks Dave.

 

I am about to do a 20 minute rebuild of my $20.00 forge/furnace ( forge = horizontally ) ( furnace= vertically ) if the fellow asking about pipe sizes is still interested I will post the pictures of the build.

 

Jan

 

done.jpg edit, done

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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About to step away for a few weeks testing some new crucibles , hoping to get closer to the original crucibles. We will play with the cooling methods and crucible shapes to see which "system" creates a pleasing pattern

 

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein
Incorrect pics to ingots

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The spheroidization of a few samples has started and of course it is giving me some problems...here is a picture of the last remaining 1/4 of puck shaped ingot#3 . This picture(s) was taken after about 4 cycles of (TC) thermal cycling. The large carbides did not go away but if I stop soon enough they may have some company ( if I cycle too many times the cementite will all end up on the larger carbides again). Some of the bars should be austenized for a long time, which I have difficulty with..I will figure out something soon.

I am attempting to TC in batches rather than individual samples.

#3.jpg width of field is about 7 mm

#3#3.jpg as soon as the matrix is organized into clearly defined areas of cementite and non cementite regions, I will stop, try to produce some pearlite and maybe a little martensite.

Jan

 

Edit:

Bar #8b is mostly useless, but pattern information is still available from a lousy bar..here is a picture of bar 8b which is lifting my confidence in being able to complete the project.

 

DSCN1245.jpg bar 8b..

this bar has not yet undergone spheroidization ( I am not sure that would do much here)

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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I had to get out of the iron world for a while so we took a ride to look for wild flowers. Just when I thought my escape was successful, black sand and hamon would not leave me alone..(see pics below).

 

Today was a charcoal making day, I hope to be able to make a couple of iron runs having all the material collect in a bowl formed at the bottom of the furnace (sand/clay)...mix in the fluid state react and and form some high carbon bloom ( no slag tapping).

DSCN1251.jpg DSCN1259.jpg

Jan

 

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I am in the process of evaluating what we have so far , by trying to develop a pattern on each bar. There are more remaining samples than I expected. I am looking at web images and books to see if there is some visual context I can look at to compare details. I will attempt to summarize the results when all the bars are done. For me, bar #8 remains the most interesting.

 

Here are some tools I am dependent on lately,

DSCN1279.jpg blower extension to kick up the pit charcoal fire ( gutter downspout )

DSCN1280.jpg

DSCN1286.jpg steel pan for drying washed ore quickly

DSCN1292.jpg the big wheel, I am getting used to it , no pump yet, I just apply water with a big brush, I am starting to love this thing. The big surface creates fairly flat grinds ( oddly the wheel has a soft spot near the edge )

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Hi Jan

bar 8b has waves like white caps just like the picture right bellow it .. very nice

 

that big wheel is epic ! awesome

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Hello Greg,

 

Good to see you posting again. Thank you , the waves are related to an image in C.S. Smiths book page 17 figure 10. I am not sure what I will end up with here but I have already had several surprises. Making and testing the new set of crucibles will take a while. This continues to be an interesting topic for me and if I can create a good pattern with the least amount of surface manipulation I will be content.

The image I often look at , and which meets that low level of manipulation criterion is in Figiel's book on page 58.

Jan

 

Edit, I like to look at wootz that has some evidence of dendrites or former dendrites.

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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that is a wonderful looking stone wheel! very nice!

..here we have beautiful patterns of iron sand where the creek comes out contrasting with the lighter beach sand...i could do a whole photo essay on it!

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Dave ,

The wheel is quite a story..it was destined to be smashed by the maker...the fellows working in the shop were told to break a bunch of them, they told me they were about to do so right after lunch. I decided to rescue a couple.

 

So ingot #8 is proving to be a very special pattern and requires greater effort in repeating. The dual use of the furnace is limiting my activity too much so I will build a designated crucible furnace ( just like the forge). I need the forge to heat treat the existing bars and then move on to other testing. The traditional crucible shaped crucibles should be ready in about 3 weeks.

 

Looking out a bit I only see 5 things to be looked at,

 

1) repeat #8 with a comparable resulting pattern.

2) repeat the forging method used on ingot two and create a forging process allowing some linear stretching of that busy pattern.

3) improve the forging process for discs ( pucks) to eliminate the tearing of the web.

4) copy the traditional crucible shape using rice husks to make the crucibles more insulating and resistant to oxidizing gas entry.

5) come up with some means of dealing with the large carbides.

 

Jan

 

Edit, you may get a better idea of the crucible shape I am after by reading this article,

http://www.academia.edu/4009643/Similar_like_White_and_Black_a_Comparison_of_Steel-making_Crucibles_from_Central_Asia_and_the_Indian_Subcontinent_Rehren_and_Papachristou_2003_FS_Weisgerber_

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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Awesome!

Edited by Mark Green

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